there's a little boutique-y pet supply store kind of near our house that opened about a year ago, and they invited us to their birthday party today. they sell a small amount of kitty-related stuff, but most of it is for the doggies, and it's basically food, treats, toys, clothes (both functional and silly), beds, leashes, collars, and so on and so forth. they pride themselves on being very customer-service-oriented (and they are), and they work hard to help people with any problems their animals might be having (allergies, dietary needs, etc.). they have an in-store greeter dog named cooper, who is a gigantic bernese mountain dog and just the sweetest giant ever. we've taken maia there a couple of times, and not only does she love cooper, but she's always a hit with employees and customers alike. i think people get excited when they meet a greyhound, in a different way than just meeting a "regular" dog… something about the racing and the always-implied "rescue" angle, maybe? i'm not sure. but anyhow, she's always a Big Deal when we go, and she gets quite a kick out of it.
so we got a personal invitation to their one-year birthday party, and we tOtally forgot about it until 30 minutes before the bash was going to end, so we quickly popped into the car and took maia over there. it was very cute; lots of dogs and lots of people and a few kids, plus "doggie cake" and a little bandana-making station (hee!). maia got to meet about 7 new dogs, got reacquainted with cooper (who was completely pooped after the day's festivities), and was fawned over by several people, including one man with a charming deep-south (new orleans?) accent who declared her "juss gawgeous" several times. she was also hand-fed a lovely morsel of doggie cake by an adorable girl who wanted to introduce maia to her mom when she got picked up. awesome.
all in all, it was a fun trip for maia. we really like getting her "out there" so she can keep learning new things and getting good socialization experience. we don't take her everywhere–far from it–but if it's a dog-friendly place, we're likely to give it a shot. there's a farmers market we've been wanting to go to all summer, and it's supposedly one of those places that everyone takes their dog to, so maybe we'll do that next weekend. fun!